‘Thank you’ concert encounters problems, but OBA delivers message

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  • <B>Performers</B> play to a sparse audience at the ChangeFest held at Bermuda College on Saturday night.

    Performers play to a sparse audience at the ChangeFest held at Bermuda College on Saturday night.
    ((Photo by Mark Tatem))

The One Bermuda Alliance staged a thank you concert for supporters on Saturday ahead of the Island going to the polls on Monday. However, the event attracted criticism from the Progressive Labour Party.

The concert billed Change Fest and held at the Bermuda College began sluggishly. Advertised as beginning at 7pm, it had yet to get underway at 7.45pm, with the set still being built and just a handful of OBA supporters present.

However, by 9.15pm, the free concert had warmed up somewhat. Around 80 people had arrived to watch by the time local artist Slanger hit the stage. He performed tracks including Good Over Evil and Bermuda Get Wise.

Other artists who performed included DJ CM and TJ Gibson. The flyer for the concert also promised “renowned Jamaican artists.” –However, singer Gyptian was unable to attend — leading to an apology from party leader Craig Cannonier when he addressed the crowd at the end of the performance. He attributed the non-appearance to a problem with immigration.

Gladwyn Simmons of Spanish Town Entertainment, who organised the event, indicated to The Royal Gazette that the singer had visa-related difficulties but was unable to elaborate.

Mr Cannonier took the opportunity to say: “We’ve got two more days to go. Change is in the air and change is about to happen.”

However, the event prompted the PLP to take a last-minute swipe at the Opposition.

A party spokesman said: “When the PLP released a campaign song from Bermudian artist BLOC, OBA supporters attacked this Bermudian artist for performing with a Jamaican accent. Now, the OBA is spending tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring in a foreign artist and the OBA supporters are silent? The OBA has spent millions of dollars on their slick campaign to conceal who they are and what they are really all about.

“Bermudians need to ask themselves, what money is behind the OBA? What are they all about? And, what do these big money donors want in exchange for their investment in the OBA? Bermudians should also ask why the OBA and their business friends have the money to hire a foreign artist, but not enough to hire you?”

Referencing their own rally on the same night, the spokesman added: “Tonight the PLP is closing their election with a rally featuring all Bermudian entertainment and an all Bermudian crowd in the heart of Bermuda.”

Invited to respond, an OBA spokesman said: “The Change Fest event was organised by Spanish Town Entertainment. They approached us because they wanted to promote the need for change, which is what the OBA has been campaigning for. It is a shame the PLP should be finishing off their campaign with yet another attack, this time on a musical event organised by a great organisation that promotes unity in the community. We support Spanish Town, and were delighted they endorse change, because that’s what Bermudians want today.”

Spanish Town’s Gladwyn Simmons said he was part of a "grey area, a silent majority" of people dissatisfied with the current state of party politics.

He said: "We feel that the incumbents have the responsibility, predicated on them being the administrators of the day, to bring the peoples' best interests to the fore. The PLP has done certain things — but in other areas they have fallen far short of expectations."

Saying he preferred to keep out of politics, Mr Simmons nonetheless added: "I am backing the idea of change. I'm not satisfied with the PLP."

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Published Dec 17, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 16, 2012 at 11:53 pm)

‘Thank you’ concert encounters problems, but OBA delivers message

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